Bubble Panoramas


This has been a tough month for field work. I have been to the South Bay repeatedly during the winter term break without much to show in aerial photographs due largely to rain and the lack of wind when it was not raining. I do have a collection of very muddy boots as reminders of some pleasant hikes.

Thus thwarted, I have turned a bit of attention to the technique of constructing immersive, 360 degree, bubble panoramas in the QTVR format. Read on to see my first attempts.

A view of the LaRiviere Marsh at the Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge. This is an Apple Quicktime QTVR movie. If you have the plugin it should load automatically but it make take a minute or so. Once loaded you can use you mouse to wander around inside the image.

One of my winter break workshop projects was the construction of a tripod panorama head to orchestrate the camera image placement for creating 360 degree panoramas. I took my Mark I device down to the Don Edwards site for a trial run yesterday and it looks like I am getting close. During my Sunday afternoon hike I was able to gather the source images for a dozen or so panoramas including views from the edge of the Dumbarton Quarry, the top of “Headquarters Hill,” and Jarvis Landing.

Here we have a view from the trail heading into the Coyote Hills Regional Park just north of the pedestrian bridge over the Dumbarton Bridge Toll Plaza. from this point in the trail you can see the salt ponds on one side and the Dumbarton Quarry (with a floor 300 feet below sea level) on the other side.

View from the end of the little docklet extending into Salt Pond N1 at the western end of the upper Newark Slough footbridge.

Here is what the camera gear looks like:

Panorama bracket

Panorama gear mounted on jankety tripod.

I’m using a Nikon Coolpix 8400 with an FC-E9 Fisheye Lens. This combination yields a circular hemispherical fisheye image. With the camera pointing toward the horizon and level I have been taking three of these images spaced 120 compass degrees apart. Back home these images are converted to equirectilinear format, stitched together, and fed to the shareware program Panocube. The result is a Quicktime movie that can be embedded in a WWW page.


2 Responses to “Bubble Panoramas”

  1. Wayne Says:

    I have both computers running. On the PC, I get nothing. I am writing this on the PC because my Mac is showing the panorama and I am able to complete the circle. I do see a strange looking circle – a sort of disk – above the bridge. Other than that, it is a very good full circular panorama. Navigation is a bit dizzying, and I still cannot understand the controls. Sometimes I zoom in, sometimes I zoom out – I did not plug in the Mac mouse, so I am using the touch pad [a crude instrument for control]. The landscape warps a bit as i circle, but the image is both stable and clear. Interestingly, I have the full professional QuickTime on my PC, which does not show the panorama, and I have only the standard “give-away” version of QuickTime on my Mac [an ibook G4]. NOTE: I first looked at this a couple of days ago, but only with the PC. I thought you still might be “fine tuning” the site, so I did not respond with a reply then. I can, by the way, see the tripod on the bridge by “looking” directly down. [06-01-17 22:23-H]

  2. Wayne, continuing on the mac, Says:

    All image boxes on the Mac work well. In all of them, I can roll down and see the tripod. It is dizzying. None of the other boxes show the disk in the upper sky.
    W, continued.